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More police officers on the streets to target crime "hot-spots"


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“Hotspot policing” is coming to Kent.

The strategy, which has been trialled in Essex, has been found to be successful in cutting violent crime, drug offences and social disorder.

Minister Kit Malthouse discusses the new hot spot policing policy with officers in Southend
Minister Kit Malthouse discusses the new hot spot policing policy with officers in Southend

Hotspot policing recognises that crime is not evenly spread across all areas. Some locations have a far higher incidence than others.

The strategy is to put far more officers on the streets in those areas in highly visible patrols.

Kent is one of 18 forces across the country who will share in an extra £4.2m funding from the Government to support the move.

The strategy was tested in Southend on the initiative of Detective Chief Inspector Lewis Basford, where it resulted in a 73.5% drop in violent crime and a 31.9% fall in all street crime on the days when the hotspots were patrolled compared with the days when they were not.

Detective Chief Inspector Lewis Basford said: "We’re continuing to see results from hotspot policing, and I’m thrilled it’s been rolled out across the country."

We can expect a far more visible police presence in troubled areas: Stock pic
We can expect a far more visible police presence in troubled areas: Stock pic

He said: "This is simply police doing high-visibility policing. It’s nothing new, but it does get results."

The Policing Minister Kit Malthouse announced the roll-out of the policy, termed Operation Grip, after visiting Southend to see the results for himself.

Mr Malthouse said: “The Government is working hard to confront violence in all its forms and make neighbourhoods safe.

“People want police officers visible on their streets, stopping violence and protecting people from harm and exploitation.

“That is what our smart new approach to hotspot policing does and I am delighted to see the tactic is already reducing high harm crime in some areas and look forward to this success being replicated in other towns and cities across the country.”

Kit Malthouse: People want police officers on the streets
Kit Malthouse: People want police officers on the streets

Kent Police will analyse crime data to determine which areas are most at risk of violent crime and where the patrols should be targeted.

Detective Chief Superintendent Mike Worrall said: "We are delighted to receive this additional funding from the Home Office to increase hotspot policing in towns and cities blighted by violent crime.

"Our officers already work relentlessly to keep our communities safe and with the help of dedicated units such as our proactive County Lines and Gangs Teams and the Violence Reduction Unit, we remain committed to targeting criminals who think nothing of bringing fear and violence to parts of Kent.

"Tackling violent crime remains a force priority and this additional funding will only strengthen our efforts to keep Kent safe."

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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